February 8, 2012

Israel will not bomb Iran this year

    Wednesday, February 08, 2012   2 comments


I recognize that it is injudicious to make emphatic predictions like this one and it is especially impolitic to do so without access to all information. In this case however, all critical information is publicly available. The only important piece of information that we don’t know is whether or not Iran has or is close to having a nuclear bomb. But all those who are supposed to know don’t really know. The most recent estimate suggests that Iran could have the capacity, the knowledge, and the material to produce several crude nuclear bombs within one year. Similar claims were made at least five other times in the past 25 years.

Increasingly, talking about Iran as a nuclear threat is becoming an exclusive hobby for politicians. Although some of the Arab regimes feel equally threatened by a nuclear Iran, only Israel seems to emerge as the subject of this threat. Israeli leaders have made it clear that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat and that they will do whatever is necessary to eliminate that threat, including a preemptive military attack. Unexpectedly, some U.S. officials, including Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, went as far as setting a time for such an Israeli military strike: this spring. Nonetheless, here are several reasons why, in my opinion, Israel will not attack Iran this year.


ONE: If past behavior is a predictor of future actions, we know that Israel attacks other countries without announcing its intentions. Israel attacked its neighbors’ nuclear installations twice before but it never announced it beforehand. In 1981, Israel destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor without warning. In 2007, Israel was thought to have demolished a nuclear facility in the early stages of construction in an airstrike on Syria. Regarding the second attack, Israel is yet to officially take credit for the bombing. Israel has a habit of responding to any real or perceived threat by taking it out without warning as it did in 1986 when its airplanes bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunisia, again without...


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  1. ONE) The only time table has come from the US - If there is any strike it will surly be unannounced.
    TWO)Iran did not retaliate against STUXNET nor when their scientist were assassinated. They quickly backed down from their provocations in the Mediterranean. I don't think there is any evidence that Iran is capable or willing to engage in a prolonged battle.
    THREE) Conceivably, Israeli Navy ships could launch an attack without any fly-over issues.
    FOUR) Israel has said many times that they do not need nor will they seek permission to protect themselves if they feel they are threatened.
    FIVE)Agreed the risk of an attack are great, the question is are they greater then the risk of not attacking. That's what they are weighing. This is a moot issue.
    SIX) Its more likely that Iran is just diverting all its remaining resources to the development of these weapons and/or Israel is simply waiting for the sanctions to weaken the ability to counter-attack.
    SEVEN) seriously? the only reason? Obviously not written by a history professor.

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  2. Your reply to the article is full of false analogies.
    Virus attack is not the same as bombing a country's infrastructure.
    Please give us some other reasons the Iranians say publically as the reason behind their animosity with israel... I am sure you will find any that does not apply to any other muslim country.

    But in any case, you or the author will be proven right in 11 months. So check back then.
    I would suggest this article while waiting though:
    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/israel-isn-t-likely-to-strike-iran-s-nuclear-program-this-time-1.412148

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